Alabama has been in the news quite a bit in the last couple of weeks. I wrote about them earlier this month when a shockingly regressive anti-abortion law was still being voted upon.
Since that blog post, Alabama passed that law and it was signed by the governor. Sure, it is going to be challenged in the courts, but that is the point. The lawmakers who put forth this horrifyingly archaic law are banking on that. They hope that the current makeup of the Supreme Court will give them their best chance of overturning Roe v. Wade when the impending lawsuits reach the highest court of the land.
While all this religiously motivated insanity was going on, an episode of Arthur aired on most PBS stations. You can see the episode here.
Alabama PBS, however, has refused to air the episode. They said that it would "violate" their audience's trust.
The episode features Mr. Ratburn, the kids' teacher, preparing for a wedding. The kids initially think that Mr. Ratburn is marrying a woman, but she turns out to be Mr. Ratburn's sister.
The kids end up overjoyed to see Mr. Ratburn marry his husband when they realize what is really happening.
The show is actually more focused on the mistaken identity angle and concerns itself less with Mr. Ratburn's sexual identity. It looks like the show's producers were more concerned with simply normalizing homosexual relationships than making any kind of overt statement.
Of course, that did not stop Mike McKenzie, director of programming at Alabama Public Television, from blocking the episode from being aired in Alabama.
“Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” McKenzie said.
“More importantly — although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards — parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for 'Arthur' also watch the program.”
"The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not," he added.
"Because of this, we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode."
As Alabama politicians wage their anti-women war motivated by their Christian faith, they are picking these ridiculous battles against children's cartoons.
The Christians who want to install a theocratic government are in full force right now. Alabama is one of the most religious states in the United States, so of course this is where the battle starts to get some notice.
These Christians are in full-on fascist theocratic mode. It is because of President Trump and the climate he has fostered. This is the precise reason why I started this blog, to fight against this kind of religious bullying and political madness.
One can only hope that by rallying enough support we can fight against this insanity and foster a 21st century conversation about what should be the focus of our attention.